ORIGINALLY WRITTEN FOR SIDEBUYBLOG
Securing brand collaborations is similar to finding a new job. You have to get yourself out there and actively and frequently reach out to relevant brands to close deals. The good news is that this year more marketers are planning to increase their budget for influencer marketing campaigns. At the same time, with demand comes competition. As an influencer, you have to make sure to stand out and take advantage of opportunities at your disposal to gain exposure and to be discoverable by potential clients for sponsored campaigns.
In this post, I'll go through a step-by-step guide on how to secure paid collaborations.
Where To Start?
A common question by influencers is when can I start pitching to brands. The answer is when you believe you can provide value for the brand when collaborating with them. Does your audience engage with your content and take actions? Do you create and curate quality content on a regular basis? Have you gathered a community of individuals who share similar interests and values? If the answer to these questions is yes, then regardless of your number of followers, you can start reaching out to brands.
Rock Solid Media Kits
Aside from the quality of your content, having a rock solid media kit is another factor that secures your more sponsored campaigns. If you wish to be taken seriously as an influencer, you have to show that you are serious and transparent. Having a media kit which includes your reach, past work, audience demographics, and previous clients is a must before your start pitching to potential brands. Your media kit serves as a resume helping the brand decide if you are a good match for them or not and what value you can potentially provide if you partner up. To create your live customizable media kit for free in less than 20 minutes, head to Sidebuy.
Click here to check out my live media kit created with Sidebuy's IKit.
How to Find Potential Clients
There are multiple ways to discover clients to reach out for partnerships. One thing to consider is the level of relevancy between your audience and the brand’s target audience. One way to measure this is to answer if you would use and recommend the product or service of the potential brand to your family or friends. If the answer is yes, that means there is sufficient level of relevancy between you and the brand and that your audience will resonant with your content and potentially convert. Now, we’ll look at the channels that you can discover relevant clients to reach out to:
Reaching out to local stores specially on social media is a great way to generate local exposure. At smaller stores, the person who is in charge of social media is most often the decision makers when it comes to the brand’s influencer marketing which makes it easier to get in touch with. Google search or Instagram are perfect channels to spot these small stores. One thing to consider is that, these smaller brands may not have a budget for influencer marketing but usually are willing to offer free products or services in exchange for content. If you are starting out as an influencer, it would be a good idea to take on these types of campaigns initially to create relationships with brands.
My collaborations with local jewelry brand Lovers Tempo and with Microblading Studio Maryam Colahi
Another great way to find potential clients is by checking other local or national social media influencers, specially on Instagram. You can spot their sponsored posts by looking for tags such as #ad #sponsored #partner. See which brand was tagged in the post and if they are in line with your personal brand, then add them to a list of clients to contact.
Influencer Marketing Platforms
Another way to secure sponsored campaigns is by registering on influencer marketing platforms such as Sidebuy that connects influencers to brands. At Sidebuy, we have over 500 brands on the platform who are running campaigns with influencers. When it comes to these platforms, the most important thing is to have a complete profile and to connect all your active social media channels to increase your chances of being discovered and contacted by relevant brands.
TIP: Get organized by creating a lead list
It’s important to get organized when it comes to pitching to brands. Create a lead list (potential clients) and add the decision makers’ contact information including name, email, etc to personalize your pitch. Include a note section and add something that grabs your attention when it comes to the client and mention it in your email pitch so they see that you actually researched their brand.
How to Contact Potential Clients
Email is the most professional channel for pitching to brands since you can include your links to your blog and social channels and share your media kit. Here’s the ingredients of a successful email pitch to get your sponsored campaigns:
Ingredients of the Successful Email Pitch
Intro: This is where you introduce yourself as an influencer and share your elevator pitch. Keep this section very brief to the point and hook the reader to continue. You can include location, categories, total reach and active social accounts so the recipient understand exactly what yo expect in the email.
Value Proposition: This is where you share “what’s in it for them”. You have to prove that they will receive value by collaborating with you. Basically, you are answering them “why they should work with you”. It’s a great idea to include some important metrics here, such as you average engagement rate, average weekly reach and impressions, or the top clients you collaborated with and the great results that you generated for them.
Media kit: Include a link to your media kit (IKit) to provide a visual and more in-depth snapshot of your influence, demographics and previous collaborations. Make sure to create your IKit, an online media kit, that updates in real-time. With the IKit, all your metrics and information is verified so the brand can see you real value. Also, you can create personalized IKits per brand, similar to how you customize your resume per company. With the IKit, you can create unique links for your IKit and when shared with brands, you can monitor when and how many times it’s been open on your dashboard.
CTA: Lastly, finish your email with a CTA (call-to-action) informing the recipient what they should do next.
Social media can also be a great channel to reach out to potential brand leads, but it’s better to initially engage with the brand and then contact them on social media. A primary potion of influencer marketing budget will be spent on Instagram in 2018, so direct messaging a brand on instagram will be a good idea to share your account. However, remember to ask for the email address of the person who’s the decision maker and email them after to share more details and show your professionalism.
Now that you have your lead list organized and you contact brands on a weekly basis, it’s time to head to your IKit dashboard to monitor if the brands that you reached out to has opened your IKit or not. If you have not heard back from the brand and you can see that they have opened your IKit, it is a good idea to follow up after three days and let them know if they have any questions. Usually brands are busy and might forget to reply so following up would act as a reminder. Once they reply and show interest in collaborating with you it’s time to come up with the campaign’s creative strategy, the contract and deliverables. In our next post, we will look at the campaign management portion of influencer-brand collaborations.